Radio controlled planes have changed dramatically in recent years. If you wanted to fly a radio controlled plane twenty five years ago, it would have to be built from a kit of balsa wood and tissue paper and would take several weeks of quite skilled model making to assemble. Even then it was quite fragile and would not withstand many accidents which often happened when it was flown for the first time. That has all changed and now there are many ready-to-fly model plane kits available from good hobby stores. These only take a few hours of final preparation, and the modern plastic materials used mean that they are much stronger and withstand many more accidents. Many of them also use electric motors so they are much quieter than previous models.

With this in mind, it has become possible for all sorts of people to fly radio controlled planes because they don't have to be skilled model-makers any more. More and more people, who would never have had the patience to build a kit can now fly their own plane and enjoy the benefits.

The first benefit of flying a radio controlled plane is that you can learn about the principals of flight and understand how any plane stays in the air. The same theories keep a model plane in the air that keep a jet airliner in the air when we take a flight. Learn to fly a radio controlled plane and you will soon understand all about climbing, stalling, banked turns and even aerobatics if you want to. Roll, pitch and yaw will become familiar terms and you will also understand about plane control surfaces such as elevators, ailerons, and the rudder. The technical side of flying will become very straightforward.

Another benefit is that as you learn to fly your co-ordination between hand and eye will improve. As you see the radio controlled plane flying and control it through the transmitter in your hand, it is inevitable that hand-eye co-ordination gets better. This can transfer to other areas of you life for example, driving relies on good eye-hand co-ordination so that may become smoother, or if you play golf, improved co-ordination could improve your game. It may take a while to learn to fly a model plane but your co-ordination will get better eventually.

The physical benefit of flying a model plane is that you almost always have to fly outside. There are some very experienced model flyers who do fly inside sports halls and arenas but they are very skilled and the models tend to be highly controllable. Most of us will always fly outside with the benefits of fresh air and exercise. A few hours out in the open air, flying a model plane, and having to fetch it if you run out of fuel and land some distance away, can bring real health benefits. It's much better for you compared with another afternoon browsing the internet, or on the couch, with the remote control watching the television.

And, of course there are the social benefits. You can fly a radio controlled plane in total isolation if you wish, but sooner or later most enthusiasts will get involved with a club, where they can get help and advice from more experienced flyers. Most clubs will have dedicated fields to fly on as well, meaning that you can fly your radio controlled plane safely, without having to worry about members of the public, or farm animals being injured by a high speed model plane. Some model planes are big and fast, like this model Spitfire, so care is always needed when flying.

So if you are looking for a new hobby and have always had an interest in aviation, but know that you will never be able to learn to fly a full size plane because of the cost, why not learn to fly a radio controlled plane and enjoy fresh air and exercise, improved co-ordination, making new friends with a common interest, and learning all about the theory of flight.